Jayhawks, Hoosiers ready for nonleague duel

Jayhawks, Hoosiers ready for nonleague duel

Tonight, two of college basketball’s most prestigious programs kick off the 2016-17 campaign in the Aloha State.

Third-ranked Kansas locks horns with No. 11 Indiana at 9:30 p.m. ET. According to online sports book Bovada.lv, the Jayhawks are 6.5-point favorites over Tom Crean’s team. The over/under point total sits at 153.

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After finishing 33-5 a year ago, KU’s ready to pursue its 13th straight Big 12 title. First, though, coach Bill Self must figure out how to replace a couple of longtime stalwarts. Perry Ellis graduated, while Wayne Selden Jr. and Chieck Diallo jumped to the NBA.

The Hoosiers absorbed a significant backcourt loss of their own. Yogi Ferrell, the school’s career leader in assists, exhausted his eligibility. Crean also saw do-everything senior Collin Hartman suffer an ACL tear in fall drills.

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Kansas combats IU in Honolulu before tackling top-ranked Duke on Tuesday. Rest assured, however, that Self’s troops won’t be looking ahead. Given that Crean returns the bulk of his core from last April’s March Madness run, expect a tightly contested affair all the way through.

 

FRIDAY NCAA FREE PICK: INDIANA +6.5

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